Monday 18 December 2017

Twin lights up Cork

Michael Hourigan saw The Job Is Right take the spoils at Cork
Michael Hourigan saw The Job Is Right take the spoils at Cork

Twinlight continued his rise up the ranks with a solid victory in the Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase at Cork.

Registering his second Grade Two success over fences, the progressive six-year-old disposed of his rivals in exemplary fashion to complete a quick across-the-card big-race double for trainer Willie Mullins, who had four winners on the day.

Successful with Arvika Ligeonniere in the John Durkan Chase at Punchestown 45 minutes earlier, the Mullins team followed up with Twinlight who romped home.

Paul Townend, who had taken the opening Charlesville Cheese Maiden Hurdle on Rathvinden for Mullins, brought the 9-10 favourite to join the leader Foildubh before six out and looked to have his measure when that horse crashed out at the third last, badly hampering Savello.

The race was over as a contest, though, as Twinlight only had to safely negotiate the last two fences to ensure a comfortable victory.

Lead Kindly Light was second, six lengths behind the eased-down winner.

"He did what we expected him to. That's his trip. He's a free-going sort, but he wasn't stopping and had plenty left," said Townend.

"It was a matter of getting over the last couple of fences. He's exciting and there's a couple of avenues open to him."

The Job Is Right (6-1) fought off all-comers to take the Grade Three spoils in the Kerry Group Stayers Novice Hurdle.

Michael Hourigan's charge was never too far off the lead throughout the three-mile contest as Oscar Chimes and Some Officer exchanged pace-making duties.

Band Of Blood took it up three out but Adrian Heskin matched that move on The Job Is Right and had enough in the tank to record a three and a quarter lengths victory.

Winning trainer Hourigan was celebrating a birthday winner having turned 66.

Hourigan said: "I think he's a better horse than this.

"It was his first time getting his trip. He got run out of it a few times in the past and had a few hard luck stories, but he's a fair horse.

"I still have the four-miler in Cheltenham in mind for him next March. I school my horses a lot and he has a lot of jumping done over fences and the quicker he was going the better he was jumping.

"We'll probably go for something at Limerick over Christmas with him next as there's no point trying to beat Willie (Mullins)! It's a good birthday present."

A terrific jump at the last saw Dressedtothenines collar long-time leader Kates Benefit to lift the Kerry Group EBF Mares Novice Chase.

Kates Benefit had all her rivals cooked going to the final fence except for Eddie Harty's six-year-old who responded to Niall Madden's urgings and flew the obstacle.

The 2-1 favourite landed running and kept Kates Benefit at bay by a length.

Harty said: "It was a bit of a shambles of a race that last day she ran at Galway when Don Cossack went on and we just pottered around behind as we were never going to win and were never in danger of finishing third.

"She was entitled to beat these on her hurdle form and while we're not getting carried away, it was a nice prize to win."

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